For the time, two father-son teams took home bragging rights to catching walleye and bass during the 26th annual Kolar Toyota ALS Fishing Tournament.
Brian Johnson and his son Ian took first place in the walleye category on Island Lake. The Johnson team, of Superior, caught walleyes measuring in at 92.00 inches. Hayden Anderson and his father Kraig, of Poplar, WI, caught the longest stringer of bass for a total of 92.25 inches. The two teams bested the other 81 two-person teams in the 26th annual event to raise money to fight Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Dustin Carlson and Phil Rust tied in the day’s longest walleye, measuring in at 24.25 inches to win the tournament’s Big Walleye Bonanza. Cory Hage, of Duluth, snagged the longest bass of the day at 19.50 inches.
Despite the heat, which was the hottest in tournament history, the 83 teams found a way to catch fish. Most found success in the bays, while others would not share their lucky locations.
This year’s event also hosted a virtual tournament for anglers across the country. Treven Ouellet of Ontario, CA had the longest bass (20.5 inches). The longest northern pike (32.0 inches) was caught by William Purdy of Hibbing, MN. Scott Monson of Perham, MN caught the longest crappie (11.5 inches). The longest walleye (26.75 inches) was caught by Cody Lubeley, of Lakeville, MN.
This year’s event raised $205,414. While the tournament took many turns throughout the spring with changes in the pandemic protocol, organizers are pleased with the end result and appreciate support from anglers, sponsors and volunteers. The tournament is hosted by former UMD hockey star Jim Johnson, two-time Minnesota Twins world champion Kent Hrbek, and three-time All-Star player plus the 1988 All-Star Game MVP, Terry Steinbach. All three men are anglers in the tournament as well and help with the awards ceremony and live auction.
Over the tournament’s 26 years, the event has raised nearly $3.8 million to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Kolar Toyota became title sponsor of the event in 2007 and the dealership is actively involved with the year-round planning of the tournament.